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  • Published: 2 November 2009
  • ISBN: 9780099540069
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 176
  • RRP: $19.99


'I cannot remember when I enjoyed a first novel more' Daily Telegraph

From the winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction comes a magnificent portrait of youth and growing up.

Christopher and Toni found in each other the perfect companion for that universal adolescent pastime: smirking at the world as you find it. In between training as flaneurs and the grind of school they cast a cynical eye over their various dislikes: parents with their lives of spotless emptiness, Third Division (North) football teams, God, commuters and girls, and the inhabitants of Metroland, the strip of suburban dormitory Christopher calls home.
Longing for real life to begin, we follow Christopher to Paris in time for les evenements of 1968, only to miss it all in a haze of sex, French theatre and first love, leading him, to Toni's disappointment, back to Metroland.

  • Published: 2 November 2009
  • ISBN: 9780099540069
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 176
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Julian Barnes

Julian Barnes is the author of thirteen novels, including The Sense of an Ending, which won the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, and Sunday Times bestsellers The Noise of Time and The Only Story. He has also written three books of short stories, four collections of essays and three books of non-fiction, including the Sunday Times number one bestseller Levels of Life and The Man in the Red Coat, which was shortlisted for the 2019 Duff Cooper Prize. In 2017 he was awarded the Légion d'honneur.

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Praise for Metroland

A dazzling entertainer

New Yorker

One of the best accounts of clever English schoolboyhood I've read

Times Educational Supplement

Consummately elegant

Sunday Times

If all works of fiction were as thoughtful, as subtle, as well constructed, and as funny as Metroland there would be no more talk of the death of the novel

New Statesman

I was captivated from the first page. I cannot remember when I enjoyed a first novel more

Nina Bawden, Daily Telegraph

One would have to look very hard to find a wryer, more lovingly detailed account of intellectual and sexual innocence abroad

Jay Parini, New York Times

Flighty, playful… Barnes succeeds in vividly recreating teenage precociousness, particularly what it feels like to be a young male encountering love and sex

Los Angeles Times

A rare and unusual first novel

William Boyd, London Magazine

A very funny, touching first novel. It has a hard comic edge to it that is logical and at the same time extremely diverting


An alert, witty, unpredictable novel which brings a sharp fresh eye to bear on English character and English compromises


Metroland is a delicious book, sharp and witty and observant

The Listener

He writes perceptively about the shift from self-absorbed teenager to adult.

The Times

Irony and imagery are deployed with a finesse even Flaubert wouldn't wince at...consumately elegant

Sunday Times